Crowds gathered in Dover Saturday to watch the launching of the replica boat, Kent Online reported.
The team that built the boat worked on it for several months using the same tools and methods employed during the Bronze Age 3,500 years ago.
However, before a team of rowers boarded the vessel, it began to sink. The boat started listing minutes after it was lowered into the Dover Marina and had to be hoisted back out.
Archaeologist Peter Clark, who has led the project, said the team will continue its efforts to come up with a usable boat.
"We are hopeful that we can think again and make the boat good," he said. "We have come an awfully long way in the past three and a half months and we think we are nearly there."